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Use of 3D CAD Modeling in Mechanical Engineering Design

AutoCAD® 2011 3D Modeling EssentialsThe primary focus of 3D CAD Modeling is to develop highly accurate specifications and detailed drawings for manufacturing and construction purposes. The developer needs different 3D computer applications for design, detailing, drawing and manufacturing process. 3D CAD modeling allows for reuse of CAD data which positively impacts productivity, delivery schedules and eventually profitability.

3D CAD techniques have gained significant popularity because design data can often be reused across various stages of the manufacturing life-cycle. Each CAD system comes with proprietary file formats which need to be made compatible with other project software. By and large designers use STEP and IGES files to make 3D solid models compatible with other systems. The disadvantage of this practice is the extensive rework, significant delay, inefficient use of critical human resources and increased costs.

3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator SE (Standard Edition) 3D Navigation Device USB ( 3DX-700028 )Powerful CAD systems such as AutoCAD 2010, Microstation and SolidWorks provide native 3D models to optimize data exchange effectiveness and quality. This practice results in less rework, better productivity and higher data integrity allowing the designer to save hundreds of man-hours. Further, all these systems come with routine updates to ensure compatibility with latest CAD software releases.

Every CAD platform has a unique way of representing 3D geometry for a given manufacturing design. If you try to open a 3D model in other application then you see some discrepancies in terms of white spaces, gaps, miss-alignment, etc - diluting the actual design intent. AutoCAD 2010 quickly and easily makes adjustments to optimize the models and removes all these differences well before the file get translated.

AutoCAD LT 2011AutoCAD mechanical interface embeds optimization tools, automated repair modules and compliance with latest industry standards to offer its users easy-to-understand, fast and highly accurate 3D CAD translations. Organizations can purchase main suit and add-ons for a nominal fee to make their systems up-to-date for future use. This kind of scalability results in greater return of investment (ROI) and can win more business for the organization. AutoCAD and SolidWorks has found their extensive use across a wide variety of industries such as manufacturing, automobiles and machineries and helps mechanical designers, product developers and mold makers benefits of low cost and quicker turn around times.

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CNC And CAD - Computer Aided Design

CAD stands for Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting. CAD was developed in the early 60s. Today it is the premier way to design, develop and optimized products. People use CAD every day to design virtually every product you see. Generally, designers use CAD to design a product, and then produce prints to manufacture that product. A print is a picture of a part or assembly that is very exact. It includes the dimensions and a parts list used to manufacture a product.

CAD is the use of computer based software packages that assist engineers, architects and other design professionals in their designs. CAD is the part of the main designing process and involves both software and sometimes hardware. Current software packages range from 2D vector based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modelers.

Computer Aided Drafting software packages can generally be broken into two groups. The groups are 2-D drafting packages or 3-D drafting packages. Most all software packages are moving to 3-D design. 3-D design is really the next generation of CAD. Utilizing 3-D design, engineers can make a model of their product. They can then look over this model for any apparent defects before it is ever made.

CAD is used to design, develop and optimize products. CAD is mainly used for the engineering of models and/or drawings of components. It is also used throughout the engineering process from concept to design of products. These products can be used by end consumers or used in other products. For example, you can design a bolt in CAD, and then use it in a Sub-Assembly in a planetary, which is a part of an earth-moving machine. CAD is also used in the design of tools and machinery. Finally, it is used in the design of all types of buildings from sheds to shopping malls.

CNC And CAD Software - How Do I Choose The Right CAD Program For Me?

There are multiple CAD programs available for design. Generally people become familiar with one and stick with it. As far as selecting the right one, my advice is this. Most software companies have a free trial. Thirty-day trials are common. Take advantage of these trial periods and test the software out. Then at the end, decide if you want to try another software or stick with your best one. I would advise you try out at least three different packages.

The one you select will probably have to do with you liking the interface or finding it intuitive. Keep in mind it may work for you now. A simple to use and understand interface probably has some limitations for your designs. The very best programs are complex with many tools that give you the most control. I have found that I start with a simple program and outgrow it. At some point I move up to the next level of software. This usually means a higher price as well.

Types of CAD

There are different types of CAD out there. These are the ones I deal with from time to time. 2D CAD, 2.5D CAD, and 3D CAD. Here are some quick explanations of each type.


2D CAD is generally on the low end of CAD software packages. 2D CAD is most often vector based. The design consists on the X and Y-axis only. The designs are made up of lines, circles, ovals, slots, curves, etc. There is no “depth” to the design. Only the outline of the part is visible, to put it in a different way.

2.5D CAD

All of the same descriptions above apply, but the design is prismatic. By that I mean it has the depth of the material. There are Z levels, but they are on singular planes.


3D CAD is on the high end of CAD software packages. 3D CAD can be solid based, wire frame based or nurbs based. The design consists on the X, Y and Z-axis. The designs are made up of lines, circles, ovals, slots, curves, etc, but can also include Spheres, Pyramids, Torrids, Cubes, etc. There is depth to the design. The design can be rotated around 360 degrees. The design is an accurate description of what the part would look like if produced in the real world.

CAD Services in a better way

First of all, let’s have a brief introduction of CAD Services. Computer Aided Design (CAD) service is a type of computer-based tool, which can be used for drafting and designing related services. CAD is used in a wide range of designing fields such as architecture, mechanics and electronics. These CAD services enable a user to prepare faster and accurate drawings with flexibility in the drawing process. It also allows a user to modify dimensions with least efforts.

CAD has many built-in features and helps in giving simple and easy accessibility to the user. CAD can be identified as a user friendly computer based services used for all 2D and 3D modeling purposes. Some of the services from CAD are: AutoCad drafting, cad drafting services, CAD Outsourcing, 2D modeling, 3d modeling, animation, CAD Conversion, mechanical drafting and design, architectural cad drafting and design. These services can also be utilized to design machinery and various other tools. This is useful for engineers, architects, advertising designers and 2D as well as 3D animation professionals. Architectural CAD Drafting and design would literally mean architectural drawing on Computer and getting your architectural drawing done in Digitized format. When it comes to designing of buildings, CAD is used in architecture as an efficient tool for designing all types of buildings. CAD can also be used by consumers in designing and developing various products. It can also be used as a mediator in other products. It is very useful in engineering processes to create conceptual designs and layout analyses of components in manufacturing methods.

Now when talking about CAD drafting software, CAD drafting software is used mostly for developing architectural and complex machine designs or drawings. CAD drafting software has all the primary features available in commonly used engineering CAD software. The most eminent characteristic of this type of software is that it allows users to differentiate components that is, to mark different components of a design with different color combination provided with the software.

This helps in reducing product design time and improves the effectiveness of the designed products. Nowadays, the most advanced CAD drafting software available in the industry can support up to sixteen million color variations. Moreover the graphic user interface (GUI) provided with the software continuously prompts the user to color each and every new component that is added to the design products.

CAD Design Process - CNC Process

Automating Design in Pro/ENGINEER with Pro/PROGRAMCAD Design Process

When designing something complex in CAD you will find there is a bit of a process. First you design parts. Then you build the parts into Sub-Assemblies. Next you build sub-assemblies into Groups. Then you build the groups into the machine. It is a logical pyramid process. You can also think of it like a file structure inside of a computer.

Designing Parts

Parts are your building blocks. Without this level, nothing could be produced. The part level breaks the entire “thing” down to its simplest form. You also manufacture at the part level. You make parts, and then assemble them into other things. Parts are generally made out of raw materials.

Think of a differential on the rear axle of a car. The differential is made up of gears and a housing. Each of these are parts of the differential and the differential is the assembly of these parts.

Designing Sub Assemblies

Sub Assemblies are the next level up and I am guessing you are getting the idea. You first design parts, then put them together into sub assemblies. In the car example above the differential is a sub assembly in the axle “Group” of the car. Sub Assemblies are put together to form groups.

Designing Groups

Moving up the design chain, groups are usually things you can identify with. It could be a door, engine, transmission, or cooling package on a car. Above we used the example of an Axle as a Group. Groups are put together into machines. Our example is a car, which is at the machine level.

Designing the Machine

Finally, the top level of all your designing, the machine. The machine could be built for the end user or be sold to another manufacturer. That manufacturer could use your “machine” as a sub assembly or group. You can see all this is just a matter of viewpoint. You can consider just about anything a sub assembly, group or final machine. It is all just semantics and what you are using the item for.

6 Things to Look For While Shopping CAD-CAM Software

Turbo Cad Deluxe V.15 2D & 3D Precision DesignCAD/CAM software is not needed by everyone. Only the specialized people can use it and it is used for special purposes only. Generally the manufacturing industry is the user of CAD/CAM products and the designers who design the products produced by these industries use CAD. When going for such software, the buyers often get attracted by the various new tools, objects, etc and in the process they lose their objective about what they need the software for.

You should also see that you do not need to change your existing set up for the software. The best software is that which fits into your existing set up without disturbing your production and business. This is especially true for the CAM software. The software must have the ability to match with your existing software and all the software that you may procure in the future. This means that your new CAD/CAM software should be able to handle all the incoming data and match the outgoing data with your existing software.

3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator SE (Standard Edition) 3D Navigation Device USB ( 3DX-700028 )Next the question is how flexible is the software in relation to further development. Remember that this software is costly one. You do not intend to restrict your business just because you do not have the money to buy new products. So you should be able to incorporate new modules at negligible cost. Your software must grow with your business as and when necessary.

You should also be able to upgrade the software without any glitches and with minimum cost if not free. If you are not sure, then ask your vendor to get the terms regarding upgrade. Make sure that you get software where there are no hidden costs in the post purchase stage. The support should be very efficient and any bugs must be fixed at once.

Most of the times, the software is bought from the resellers. So the responsibility starts from here but often the resellers pass the buck to the developers and this causes delay and confusion. So you should get your software from a well known reseller who has the reputation of acting as a bridge between the developer and the customer. Since the software is costly, you can shop for financing or a lease. They may sound new to you but it is getting popular.

10 Tips For Choosing Software and Software Leasing Solutions

Introducing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010There is software available for all types of jobs and purposes. So it will not be very difficult to find software for the job you do. There is software for tax calculation and managing businesses, financing software, accounting software, designing software and many more uses, one for almost any job you can think of.

So when choosing software, see if the following tips help you.

1. First determine the purpose for getting the software and the volume and nature of work that you want to do with it.

2. The next thing that should determine the acceptability of the software is the ease of use. Get information about its user friendliness before deciding upon any software.

3. But user friendly software may not always be pocket friendly. Actually the software is priced on the number of users who are supposed to use it. So get one according to your volume of work.

4. Sometimes some software is costly because they carry many facilities. In such cases you will have to decide whether you want so many features or the basics will do.

5. Ask whether the software can be customized to greater demands in case your business needs them as it grows and the cost of such improvements.

6. If you have to pay a good amount for software then you should also get after sales services including on-site and off-site services. When you choose software, read the fine print and see what you are getting in the package. Sometimes the companies charge extra for customization. If your package includes that then make sure to compare the prices and facilities of similar software in the market.

7. After installation you will find bugs in the software and you will have to make sure that you do not waste time on them. Get the assurance of the turnaround time for fixing such bugs.

8. You should also get assurance from the developer about the updates and regular notifications on them.

9. Regarding support, you should get to know the hours of business and the promptness of service. Since most of the times software is used for business or important work, going without it can cause loss of valuable time.

10. Finally, you will have to decide whether you want to go for outright purchase of the software or software leasing.

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